Correctly preheating your oven can make the difference between well-formed cupcake tops and a slightly burnt dessert. While a new oven might only take 15 minutes to bake cupcakes without preheating, an older or differently designed oven could take 18 or 20 minutes using the same technique. Preheating reduces baking time and makes the recipe applicable to ovens of all strengths and models. Without proper preheating, your cupcakes could burn.
Confirm the necessary preheat temperature for your cupcake recipe. Cupcakes differ in preheating requirements based on ingredients. Martha Stewart, for example, recommends preheating the oven to 163 degrees Celsius for lemon meringue cupcakes, but requires a preheat temperature of 177 degrees Celsius for her devil's food cupcakes.
Press the oven knob inward until you reach the 375 degree mark on your manual oven and close the door. If you don't have an alarm on your oven, set a separate timer for 20 minutes as a reminder to begin baking the cupcakes.
Press the bake button on your digital oven. Wait for the appropriate symbol and press the upward arrow buttons until the display temperature reads 375 and press set. Digital display ovens typically have an automatic buzzer that sounds when reaching your set preheat temperature.